Fascinating peculiarities of giraffes

Giraffes, with their imposing height and distinctive pattern of spots, are perhaps the animals that most capture the imagination of children. These extraordinary creatures not only stand out for their unusual appearance, but also for their biological adaptations and social behaviors, which make them one of the most unique mammals in the animal kingdom. With every detail of their anatomy and lifestyle, giraffes amaze those who observe them, especially the little ones who find in them an inexhaustible source of wonder and curiosity.

Giraffe and her baby

The anatomy of giraffes is more than peculiar

Giraffes are one of the most distinctive and recognizable creatures in the animal world. Every aspect of their anatomy is adapted to their life on the African savannahs.

Long neck

Its neck can be up to 2 meters long, allowing it to reach the leaves of tall trees, especially acacias, which is its main source of food. However, it has the same number of vertebrae as most mammals, there are seven, but they are much more elongated.


They are the tallest land animals in the world. Males can reach heights of up to 5.5 to 6 meters, while females are usually a little shorter.

Skin and Fur

The spots on a giraffe’s skin are unique to each individual, similar to fingerprints in humans. These spots also aid in thermoregulation, as the blood vessels beneath the spots help disperse heat. They are formed during the gestation of the embryo and are already born with them.

Adapted tongue and mouth

Their tongue can measure up to 45 centimeters and is prehensile, so they can tear leaves from branches. It is dark purple in color, which protects it from sunburn. Their mouth and lips are adapted to avoid the thorns of acacia trees. Additionally, the inside of their mouth is protected by a layer of thick saliva.

Giraffe tongue

Circulatory system

To pump blood to their brain, giraffes have an extremely large and powerful heart, which can weigh up to 11 kilograms.

They also have special valves in their blood vessels to prevent blood from flowing back when they lower their head, which could cause them to faint.

Some of their customs are also distinctive
  • They have a unique way of walking called “gait.” They move the legs on the same side of the body simultaneously (both right legs and then both left), instead of moving the legs diagonally like most quadrupeds. This gives them a characteristic sway.

  • They are social animals and usually live in groups called “towers”. The composition of these groups can change frequently, since they are not very territorial.
  • The gestation period is just over a year and the babies, who can measure up to two meters tall, stand on their own within an hour of birth.
  • They can see great distances thanks to their excellent vision, which helps them detect predators easily.
  • They are fairly silent, but make a variety of sounds, such as mooing, snorting, and hissing. They also communicate through infrasound, or low-frequency sounds that are not audible to humans.
  • They sleep very little, between ten minutes and two hours a day.

These unique characteristics are shared by the four known species of this mammal, which live exclusively in different countries on the African continent.

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